Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pane del Deserto

Here are a few different styles of artisinal breads that I make. Some are great with sandwiches. Some are great with butter & others are delicious with some good extra virgin olive oil.

Stecca - Very light airy crumb. Cracker like crust. It can have a variety of different toppings: Cheese, Sesame Seeds, Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Olives, Tomatoes, etc. Great for sub style sandwiches.

Pane al'Olive - Artisan round studded with good quality olives. The crust is brushed with extra virgin olive oil and topped with fleur de sel. Delicious toasted with some very good bold flavored olive oil.

Pane con Formaggi - Very light crumb, intense fermented aroma, filled with pungent raw milk cheeses. Great toasted with butter or just warmed on its own.

Birra Buia e Cumino - Northern Italian German influenced bread that has dark beer and caraway seeds in it. Light crumb, great with butter, great as a grilled cheese sandwich or as a reuben sandwich

Pane con Semi di Sesamo - Very simple flavored round, light crumb, topped with sesame seeds. Great with butter, extra virgin olive oil. Good for sandwiches, PB & J's.

Pane al'Diavola Pazza - This is my homage to the spicy cheese bread of Stella's Bakery. Mine is a rich & sweet bread that has aged provolone & young pecorino cheese in it. The crust is brushed with egg and topped with chili flakes. I serve it in the traditional way which is hot out of the oven and just torn into pieces with your hands.

Bachette del Deserto - Smaller versions of the famous French bread. They have a medium light crumb, very robust smell & taste, crunchy crust and are delicious with butter or as sandwiches.

Pane Inglese - Rustic Italian versions of english muffins. Light crumb, sweet, rich. Great with butter, jam, PB & J, sandwich bun & of course eggs benedict.

Pane Pancetta e Rosmario - Rustic bread that has my own homemade pancetta in it along with fresh rosemary. The top is brushed with olive oil & fleur de sel. Light crumb, very rich salty porky taste. Good toasted with good extra virgin olive oil

Pane Santo "Holy Bread" - Sweet bread that is flavored with dried cherries, raw cashews, honey, cinnamon & topped with oats. Great with butter & morning coffee

Ciabatta(e) - Classic rustic slipper loaf. Super light crumb, very crunchy crust, mild flavor. Great with olive oil, butter, or for sandwiches

Pane Seduzione - My take on the seeduction bread of whole foods. It has a denser crumb than some of my other breads because of the whole wheat flour yet it is lighter than the whole foods bread. There are sunflower, pumpkin, millet & poppy seeds in the bread. Great flavor & fantastic warmed with some butter.

Pane Miele Integrale - This is a honey whole wheat bread that has millet seeds & cracked wheat. It has a lighter crumb than traditional whole wheat bread yet not as light as some of my other breads. Great with butter or for sandwiches.

Bagels - Crispy crust with light & chewy crumb. I top them with some of my favorite garnishes.

Pane Uva Passa della Canella - Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Grissini - Artisan Italian Breadsticks flavored with parmigiano reggiano & sea salt

Pane Ricotta e Castagne - Ricotta & Chestnut bread that is topped with flax seeds. Great with butter, olive oil, more ricotta, or for sandwiches

Cudduredda - Artisan bread from Calabria that is in the shape of a giant doughnut. Good with olive oil. Best used as a table bread for special events

La Foresta Ricompensa - Verdure Primavera in Brodo

This is a very simple recipe that shows off the beauty of spring vegetables. This contorno is done in the style of Emilia Romagna, the home of Parmigiano Reggiano. Asparagus & fiddlehead ferns served in the famous broth of Emilia. It is usually made with a mix of chicken, beef, turkey or veal bones. The recipe changes with the different micro regional places you go to. To make it easy, I have just used a chicken carcass that is left over from a whole chicken I bought at the farmer's market. Then I garnish the vegetables with shaved parmigiano reggiano, the world renowned cheese of Emilia.


1 chicken carcass
1 large carrot peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onions with peels cut into large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
1 garlic bulb cut in half
1 T black peppercorns

Add all the above to a large pot
cover with cold water
slowly bring to simmer
simmer for 4-6 hours skimming occasionally
DO NOT BOIL!!! - stock will become cloudy
Carefully strain stock being careful not to push down on bones or this might make stock cloudy again.

1# Farm Fresh Asparagus, cut into 2"-3" pieces
1# Fiddle head ferns,
Pamigiano Reggiano
1 sprig of fresh thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2T butter
Salt & Pepper

bring cold water to a boil, no salt
add asparagus to boiling water and blanch for 1-3 minutes depending on preferred doneness.
shock in ice water
repeat process with fiddlehead ferns.
shock in water
bring 2 cups of brodo to poaching temperature(160-180F)
drop in vegetables to heat through
add the butter, thyme & lemon juice
toss until butter has emulsified
season with salt and pepper
transfer to serving bowl
using a vegetable peeler, shave the parmigiano reggiano right on top of the hot vegetables so it tempers and just melts into the dish.
Serve immediately